retired military officer

After Your Tour of Duty: Exploring Your Options

For many people in the military, it is a choice that is rewarding and unforgettable. But after their tour of duty, civilian life can be attractive. But what options do they have?

There will come a time when you have to say goodbye to military service. It can be an emotional moment for you, mainly because you might have concerns about what it is like to adapt to civilian life. You might also be wondering if you should look for a job or put up a business for yourself.

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth revealed that many U.S. military veterans find themselves transitioning into civilian life with a slew of complexities. For one thing, many vets find that there are unique challenges that they have to face in the job market, including the lack of higher education as well as health challenges like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to Anna Zogas of the University of Washington, the reason why many veterans find it hard to adjust to civilian life is that their military service trains them to be effective to operate within the military but does a poor job of preparing them for post-military life. This is especially true in younger service members.

Employment Issues Military Veterans Face

You might have heard that many military veterans are having a hard time finding a job after they have left the service. According to Law for Veterans, the unemployment rate for returning veterans was at 12.1 percent, compared to the unemployment rate that of civilians, which was at 8.7 percent in 2011.


Returning veterans find it hard to find a job because most of them are unprepared. Many of the younger military personnel entered the service while just out of high school and have limited work experience. According to them, they said that they needed training when writing a CV, as well as how to act and what to say during a job interview. ;

Unrealistic Expectations

Military training has taught many service personnel to be resourceful and defend themselves in times of adversity. Civilian life, however, is an entirely new playing field. Perhaps you have set an unrealistic expectation for yourself on what civilian life would be. You will need help finding how the skills that you have acquired during your military training would translate when getting a civilian job.

Some Companies Could be Biased

Whether we want to admit it or not, some companies will always have a bias towards those in the military and fear that military personnel will have a hard time adjusting to civilian life because of whatever physical or mental issues they might have. What is even worse is that they look at the years of military service as an employment gap, thereby making it a point against you.

Business Could Be an Option

We all know that a business is integral in helping the nation’s economy. In fact, according to the Small Business Bureau (SBA), there are 29.6 small businesses all across the United States, and they currently employ 47.8 percent of the nation’s workforce. With this in mind, would it be a better option to opt to be an entrepreneur instead?

More corporations are slowly recognizing the importance of businesses by disabled veterans   and have already incorporated them into their supply chains. But you need to take note of a few things before they could consider you as part of the chain.

Use Military Training

When you were part of the military, you learned how to hone your leadership skills, as well as a sense of resiliency. Putting up a small business is never easy, especially during the first few years. It would be best if you were resourceful because you will most likely be relying on limited resources.

Take The Opportunity

Entrepreneurs are hungry for opportunity, and they believe in seizing the day. At times, you have to learn to create the need when it comes to drawing clients to your business.


Before you go into business, it is important that you conduct a feasibility study to assess if the business will be viable in the long run. You also have to scope out the competition and find a prime location for your business.

Your Choice, Your Lifestyle

Adjusting to civilian life will be tough, but it does not mean it is impossible. Both come with their own pros and cons. Each is challenging in its own way. At the end of the day, you have to remember that you survived the military, and you can certainly survive and thrive with civilian life.

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